Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November Updates!

Yes, yes, we are long overdue for an update on where things are with this rather ambitious project, so let me fill you in:

Volume I skipped a person by accident, so it is on its way to Mallory A. in Madagascar and then will travel back up north to Morocco for a brief stay with Ryan S. (last country in Africa for that journal!).

Volume II has left S/Central America and is on a journey to Bulgaria, and will then go to Africa!

Volume III seems to have had quite an adventure! Judson M. mailed it from Kyrgyz Republic to Kyle L. in Thailand back in June only to learn weeks later that it had been sitting at his post office after a failed delivery attempt! He resent it and as of now there is no word as to whether or not it has made it to Thailand, but fingers crossed it makes it there soon and that the second, and not third time, will be the charm!

Volume VI is still in S/Central America and has hopefully found its way to Kim A. in Peru and will soon be sent off to the last S/Central America PCV, Jamie A., in El Salvador.

Now for some bummer news:
A few members of our project have Early Terminated (ETed) their service, so we have a couple of new members to our little project! Jeremy H. will be taking over in Botswana and Amy E. will be our new Bulgaria contact! Currently, we are also waiting on word for newbies in Zambia** and in Ecuador. While I am bummed to have to replace people, I really hope they are enjoying their time back in the "real world" and I am excited to learn more about our new project members!

**UPDATE: Our Zambia PCV, Jessica H. was medically separated and there is a chance for her to be reinstated. However, she will still be receiving the journal a second time even if she is still in the states so that the journal can have a piece about her particular experience as being a MedSep'd RPCV. Yay Jess!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Snapshot Romania: Apartment Tour

After spending some time at a GLOW camp, I finally made it to site about 2 weeks ago. It took me about 3 or 4 days to finally get running water and gas for my stove in my apartment but by day 5, I could officially say I was all moved in. Here is an apartment tour of my place. Yes, I know, I got very lucky with my living arrangements.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Where in the World are Our Journals?!

As it stands, Miss Renee in Malawi is sending off Volume I to Mallory in Madagascar. Volume II was on its way from Lauren S. in Nicaragua to Kelly C. in Guyana last time I heard, so fingers crossed it gets there soon or has made it already! Volume III is hopefully in Thailand with Kyle by now, but at last glance it was in Kyrgyz Republic with Judson. And, finally, Volume IV has made it safely to Brittany B. in Paraguay after a long journey from Jessica W. in Moldova.

Unfortunately, we may be having a person ETing from service who is a  part of our project, but more will be said on that once they have gone through the process. They have found a replacement, so all information will be updated in due time.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Snapshot of Mongolia

I've been trying to post this for the past week now, but our internet went out with the awful storms we've been having. Such is life. So this is just a slightly outdated snapshot of Mongolia, but one that has greatly influenced the past two weeks of my life, so still relevant. And in other news before I forget - this blog now has a Facebook page that everyone should go like -​ ges/PC-Snapshots-of-Servic​e/189232554467302

Last weekend (July 1-2) was a big deal for my soum (town) because we celebrated Naadam which is the second biggest holiday here. National Naadam is July 11-13 (so right now) but most smaller towns and cities celebrate at different times. Ours happened to be then and it was pretty fabulous. I think it was the best time I've had in the month I've been here - even the sunburn was worth it.

Naadam celebrations began in 1921 with Mongolian independence from China, but they talk about the Chinese about as much as we talk about the British on July 4 in the States. The celebrations include the three manly sports of wrestling, archery, and horse racing. I didn't get to see the horse racing because it took place somewhere else and I missed most of the archest because I was far too entertained by the wrestling. But I think the wrestling was the best part any way.

Friday was complete chaos because I'm TEFL and we were supposed to have a microteaching session that afternoon. Luckily the PC staff here took pity on us and let us reschedule because (a) it was Naadam and none of our students would have shown up and (b) we wanted to see as much of Naadam as possible. Friday's celebrations included a concert with national songs, instruments, and dancing. The lighting was horrible for my camera, but everyone should look up Mongolian throat singing because it's incredible.

Saturday was when most of the action (and my sunburn) went down. Like I said, the wrestling is highly entertaining. Since all the Mongolians were too engrossed in the wrestling to fill us in (understandable), we had to make up our own commentary and explanations for what they were doing. I'm sure the real reasons make a lot more sense and have more significance than what we came up with, but ours were at least entertaining.

Here's how the wrestling does down from a confused American's point of view: When the wrestlers first decide to enter the competition, they stand on the side and smack their thighs three times. Then they go to a snazzily dressed man (a judge of sorts) and spin like birds around him. The "judge" takes the wrestler's hat so the wrestler can do be a bird again around a pole, after which he smacks his thighs again. We were told afterwards that the smacking signifies being ready to wrestle. Then the two men wrestle - sometimes they grab on to each others' shoulders, sometimes onto the rope holding the "shirt" on, and sometimes onto what we called spanks (for lack of a better term). Some of the earlier rounds had insane size differences between the two men wrestling - we poor Americans thought the smaller men were going to be snapped in half. The Mongolians laughed at us whenever we pitied the smaller men, but eventually we caught on and were completely into it.

The wrestlers in their outfits spinning around the "judges"

Friday, July 1, 2011

Final Countdown!

This is the final departures entry.  As a group, we are almost all in place (at least on our way out of the USA... or almost!).  During this week Megan T. left for China, Val S. headed to Jamaica, and Nehama R. set out for the Philippines. That leaves myself leaving for South Africa next week, Jamie A. going to El Savador, and Kate and Chris M. traveling to Cambodia in a little over a couple of weeks.  That's it!!! With the earliest departures being months ago, our project is very much underway.  Looking forward to reading about others' experiences and having some of my own to share real soon.  Susan N.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Vol. II has left Nicaragua!

Hey all,
Lauren let me know that yesterday Volume II was posted off to Kelly in Guyana! 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Exciting Times Ahead

As I read and know that many people within this project are possibly a few months into service or working toward finishing up PST, I am very aware that some of us have yet to leave for staging.  Just a few more weeks and all of us will be well into our own journeys with everyone facing new and exciting changes. This week has us saying safe travels to Riah W. who is leaving for Tanzania and Luba V. who is off to Burkina Faso.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Volume III is on the move!

Volume III has finally made it safely into the hands of Judson in the Kyrgyz Republic!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Snapshot: Pre-Site Placement Jitters in Ukraine

Here I sit, on the eve before I find out where my next two years in Ukraine will be spent. We PCTs in Ukraine have it a little different from PCTs in other countries from what I have seen. While many find out where they will be living and what they will be doing weeks before the end of their training (and even get to visit their future site), I have the pleasure/anxiety of not finding out until our Swearing In Conference! I had my site placement interview on May 25th and they knew where I would be going by the end of the day on the 27th, yet I have to wait until tomorrow to learn about my new home. Then I meet it on Thursday, maybe even Friday depending on how far it is from Kyiv.

So what is going on in my head? Currently my thoughts are:

  • I hope I live alone. Why did I not say that was a preference during site placement?!
  • Please have a nifty counter-part!
  • Specialized school? Pretty please!?
  • Holy cow, I am not going to know ANYONE! Well, except my counterpart.
  • I wish I spoke Russian better. Please let people have patience with me. Also, please let my confidence in speaking Russian improve.
  • I hope I am not TOO far from someone I know in my training group. I have not exactly met all 105 people...
  • I hope I can get a kitten for cuteness and sanity sake.
Repacking all of my belongings has been a bit, uh, difficult? We get a 100lbs limit and pack our bags to the max. Then when we are about to leave our training site, we need to figure out how to include the many pounds of language and other PC materials in with our stuff! My suitcase that I used for a carry-on is now no longer being used for clothes. That is where my PC materials are currently living. Makes me glad I brought tote bags and Space Bags. Did I mention that as we are about to leave, we also receive a fire extinguisher, smoke/carbon monoxide detector, and portable heater. Ух ты! 

I am also currently amused that it has been raining today. Seems fitting since it was raining when I arrived here in Obukhov, Ukraine nearly 3 months ago :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PC's in the Air!

This is going to be an active month for staging.  Five future PCVs leaving just this week for staging!  Kelly S. is headed to Kenya; Katie W. is going to Ghana; Jessica W.'s destination is Moldova; Jenn B. will be in Swaziland; and Kim A. will soon be in Peru.     Safe travels to all.

Will be checking blogs soon to see who has completed their swearing-in.  I think time is going by quickly for everyone no matter which stage of the process you find yourself!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Time is Flying!

Lots of folks leaving!  As Ashley said in last posting, I'll post departures for the next few weeks.  This is just a quick and short entry to make sure my access to the system does work before Ashley gets too far away... :-)   Stay tuned for more!  Susan N.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

It's finally June!

Well everyone, this is a big week in the Snapshots world. It's my last week updating the blog with departures because I'm heading to staging for Mongolia on Wednesday. Susan N, our South Africa rep, will be taking over and finish up June and July, then we're all out in our respective countries. Exciting! If you're not already following the blog, you should because Brittany B in Paraguay has an idea on how to make this blog more interesting and helpful for everyone. She thinks it'd be good if we incorporated the journal idea into this blog and show a universal Peace Corps experience. Like combining all of our blogs into this one that everyone can take advantage of. Of course, attempting this while we're all in country with sketchy internet makes it difficult to organize, but stay tuned.

And on to the other reason it's a big week - so many departures! Besides me, we have Jenny C. going to Lesotho, Kelly G. going to Cameroon, Amy G. going to Mali, Katy T. to Togo, and Ashley E. to Armenia. Hopefully we all have good staging experiences and first weeks in country!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

two more weeks, three more departures!

Well friends, in this next batch of departures, we have three lucky winners! Alicia P. starts her journey to Fiji (today I believe), then at the beginning of next week we have Kelsey K. off to Ethiopia and Brittany starting her journey to Paraguay. Best of luck ladies!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

oh hey May!

A new month means new departures! Hooray! Now, I'm pretty sure these are right this time, but with the Peace Corps being tricky and changing staging dates, if I'm off a little bit don't hate me. This week we have Caroline H. heading to Suriname and Heidi M. off to Rwanda.

I know that Renee in Malawi swore in recently, and I think Kelly C. in Guyana did also, but since I'm not a super-blog-reader and not everyone can update regularly, I probably won't catch everyone's swear-in. Sorry :(

Thursday, April 21, 2011

End of April departures!

I feel like I just posted the early April departures, time is going so fast! Jovanka B. actually left yesterday, sorry about my late-ness! Hope Romania is fabulous :) Then we have three more departures to round up the end of the month - Susan B. is off to Georgia, Rachel F. heads to Panama and Danielle S. is Guatemala-bound. Fly safe everyone. (Side note: if everyone could check their departure dates on the spreadsheet to make sure they're accurate, that'd be great. Just want to get everyone correctly)

In other news, my blog reading tells me that Liz S. in Uganda, the Strix in Ecuador, and Jessica H. in Zambia all swore in as Volunteers recently. Congrats!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

Volume II is on its way to Nicaragua!

Our first entry (Strix) has been lovely and posted the journal this morning to Lauren in Nicaragua!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

hello and goodbye

As Kim mentioned in her last post, she's off in the Ukraine learning how to be an awesome PCV so I (Ashley - Mongolia) volunteered to help her out with the bios and departures. Speaking of which, if any of you haven't sent in your bios and want them up, send them to me! My email is on the spreadsheet Kim sent out and you know you want to be up there. Also if you set up a blog and it's not on the list on the left yet, send that to me too!

Now that March is coming to an end, it's time for early April departures! There are two during the first week or so - Tracy M. heads off to Botswana and Angela W. leaves for Indonesia. Good luck ladies!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Volume II has arrived in Ecuador!

Quick update for Volume II, Strix received the journal today! Next stop: Nicaragua!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bye guys!

I am off to Ukraine this week, but we also have a few other people leaving too!
Laritza is leaving for Belize, Judson is going off to Kyrgyz Republic, and Danielle V. will being headed to Bulgaria at the start of next week!

I have been slacking in the Mini Bio department of this blog and I think I have 2 or 3 that need to be put up.  If anyone would like to take charge of the blog and post about who is leaving each week and finish up the bios, I would appreciate it! Keep in mind that the Edit Pages button for that page won't let you copy and paste then format, so it must be done in Internet Explorer (ew) and typed out so that the font works out!  If you are interested, please e-mail me soon and I will forward you the bio info!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Journal Status: SENT!

So I sent out the final 3 journals today.  One is one its way to Strix in Ecuador, another is heading to Emily J. in Kazakhstan, and the other one is going to be hanging out with Jessica W. until she leaves for service in Moldova.

It was my first time sending something internationally, so that was interesting having to fill out little custom sheets! Hopefully the international ones will get there in the 6-10 business day times frame that the priority mail said it would take; we'll see!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Leaving this week

Alex L. is leaving for Albania and Ryan S. is headed to Morocco!

Enjoy staging and your flights!

Monday, March 7, 2011

50 Countries achieved!


Although, we will probably be having 4 journals for the sake of logistics since travel time estimates show that not everyone would get the journal twice during their service.  Since I now have to purchase another 2 journals and SD cards, I am taking donations! Even if it is only $,1 it will help! You can submit it via PayPal to:
 k i m b e r l e y r o s e p h o t o @ g m a i l . c o m (without the spaces, damn trolling software for making me type it out like that).  Each journal is about $20 plus the 2 SD card has us looking at $45.  I am not one from trying to drum up money, but I cannot afford this with no job and still having to get stuff for my own service! (Success!)

If you are a part of the project, please check your e-mail as I sent out a long an informative e-mail today :)

On another note, we have some people leaving this week!
Emily B. is leaving on a jet plane for Senegal while Emily J. heads to Kazakhstan.  Safe travels, ladies!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We're on PCJ! Applicant Edition :)

We've come so far in just over a month with 51 people currently involved (thanks to our 3 married couples) and 48 different countries! You know what that means?  There is only room for 2 more countries in this traveling journal project! To celebrate, here is what Snapshots of Service is all about:

"What is Snapshots of Service?"  50 Peace Corps Volunteers, will be participating in a project called "Snapshot of Service." As the representatives of 50 different countries that PC sends its volunteers, we will have a unique opportunity to collaborate on one project designed to show a snapshot (if you will) of each volunteer's service at two different points.

"But how will it work?" you may ask. Well, we will be shipping a journal between us for the duration of our services and each volunteer will receive the journal twice. During that time, we will add pictures, sketches, poems, doodles, mini-journal entries, anecdotes, or anything we want to a two-page spread. Whatever we feel will show where we are in our service at that time. Then we pass the journal along to the next person in line, and so on, and so on. Eventually, the journal will make its way back to me and I will have another opportunity to provide another snapshot into my life as a PCV. Since there are 50 volunteers and only 100 pages in the journal, there will be two volumes of the project with two different sets of volunteers. At the end, we will have a creation that is unique to us and able to be shared with others in the Peace Corps community.

"Why 50 volunteers?" No, it's not just a random number. It just so happens that 2011 (the year we all leave for service) is the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps! So 50th anniversary, 50 countries, 50 volunteers. Awesome.

2 Spots Left!

So close!

Could use volunteers going to any of the following:  Macedonia, Mexico, South Africa, Azerbaijan, Suriname, or The Gambia.

Keep an eye out so I can get everything sorted out before I leave on the 21st!

Friday, February 25, 2011

En route to Uganda!

The journal has left Zambia (on 2/18) and is on its way to Liz!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

So long Snapshotters!

We have a few people heading off for service this upcoming week.

Renee heads off to Malawi and Mallory to Madagascar, while Stephanie and Chris Starr are heading to Costa Rica!
To you all,  have happy and safe travels! :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

All Caught Up

My compose tab for the Bio page is not letting me view it to edit, so I have been behind on updating it with new people.  I have been putting it off because I discovered that if I use IE, then I can access that tab! Downside it that the font won't change over if I copy and paste, so I had to re-type all the new ones!  Oh well, it is done and fairly beautiful :)

We are at 46 Countries! Once I get all 50 countries situated, I will post up the find lists for how each journal will travel in a new tab at the top!  So keep a lookout and keep sending new invitees my way!  Since Miss Emily J. in Kazakhstan will be heading up one of the journals, I will be e-mailing people who will be in the same journal with her information and vice versa since she will be your contact point for address changes and journal updates.

I will be sending out the second journal before I leave next month to Kyle in Thailand.  I am just waiting on his SITE ADDRESS! Yay!

Speaking of site addresses, please make sure once all of you get yours that you pass them this way (which I know will not be for awhile).  And I am still missing some training addresses for about 11 people, so if you haven't sent me yours, please do so soon :)

Again, thanks to everyone who is participating and who have been helping to find people to participate, it has been a great help :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bye Kelly C.!

Enjoy the view from the plane to Guyana!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Something New for the Blog

I added a feed to the page to show the most recent blog posts from Snapshot members who have submitted a blog link.

Boredom at its finest :)

Also, we have two new people!  Alex who is going to Albania and Charlene who will be headed off to Liberia.  We have slowed down on getting to our 50 people in 50 countries, but that is to be expected since there are tons of new invites to be sent for this year.  Keep your eyes peeled :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thanks Everyone!

I have loved seeing people post about this project and trying to get others involved.  We are currently at 33 people in 33 countries! That means we only have 17 more people to find!

If anyone spots someone heading to any of these countries (which have staging dates on PC wiki), let them know about Snapshots:
Albania, Georgia, Honduras, Liberia, Madagascar, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, or Tanzania

I am sure there are more countries out there, but those are what I found at a quick glance.

Also, I would love to send some special thanks to Tracy who took on collecting everyone's hometowns and service dates (in addition to creating an FB group) and Emily J. who will be taking on the task of handling addresses for Volume 2 (So expect to hear from her if you are leaving in June or later!)  And to everyone else who has offered to help out, thanks to you as well!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Strix is in Ecuador!

In spite of the wintery weather that was happening :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oh Logistics...

So determining the order of the journal is headache inducing!  I nearly have the order for the first journal complete, I just need two more people leaving between January and June (working on getting a Thailander!)

These first few are pretty definite since I need to include a list of the first few addresses in the book itself:
1) Jessica in Zambia
2) Liz in Uganda
3) Renee in Malawi
4) Emily in Senegal
5) Ryan in Morocco

From there it will most like travel out of Africa and to South America to meet up with Miss Strix and our C/S America PCVs, then to Eastern Europe and Asia, and then back to Africa for the second group of Africa volunteers.

After looking at time frames and trying to estimate how long it may take to ship between countries, each person will basically need to ship the book one week after getting it in order to keep things on track AND account for mail mishaps.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We're going to expand...

So there is quite some excitement about this little project we have going here! In addition to getting e-mails and messages from those wanting to participate, I was also messaged by Travis Hellstrom who wrote The Unofficial Peace Corps Handbook offering help if needed. Then there is Amy, the Peace Corps recruiter on the University of Florida campus who has offered to help and try find additional invitees.  Originally, I thought it would be nifty to do 50 PCVs in 50 Countries since we are all heading out during the 50th year of the Peace Corps.  But alas, that would make for too large of a journal!  Two volumes though?  So doable! 

The thing is, I am going to need some help.  I need one person who will be serving in a country where internet access is pretty easily accessible to coordinate the second journal.  This means you will need to keep in touch with other PCVs as far as keeping track of who has the book and where it is, in addition to handling the addresses said PCVs.  If you are interested, please e-mail me and we can talk about it!  Thanks Emily J!

21 down, 29 more to find!

In the beginning, there was a first post!

Which totally makes sense!

With the journal project coming together so nicely, it was high time it got its own little piece of the internet and so this blog was created!

So why has this project been dubbed "Snapshots of Service"?  It is all in how I have been trying to describe it to others.  Since each person only winds up with two entries (consisting of two pages each), it really is a snapshot of Peace Corps service at that point of time. There is no back-story like a a blog or run-of-the-mill journal, or even a resolution to a long term issue that may make its way into the journal's pages, just the snippets of information and decoration provided in those few pages.

As of right now, there are 17 people who have signed up for this project (and I am waiting on addresses and last names for a few of you.  Ah-hem *wink*)  That means another 8 more can join the party!  I am looking for people going to countries not listed on the home page sidebar already, for the sake of variety.  If you are interested and your country in already listed, go ahead and e-mail me anyway and if we don't get 8 more different countries found, or yours drops out (hoping this doesn't happen!), you will get bumped into place! If this doesn't happen, I encourage you to try and get one of these projects going amongst yourself and som other volunteers in your country! Maybe we will end up with a Snapshots Series on our hands!  If you decide you want to do this, contact me and I can get your stuff linked up here in this blog so that it is a one stop shop!  I am going to see if there is interest in my Ukraine 41 Group for such a project with some of the PCVs...

To participate in this project, I need you to e-mail the following information to me
 @ k i m b e r l e y r o s e p h o t o @ g m a i l . c o m   (no spaces, I just don't want to get random spam!):

  • First and Last Name
  • Country
  • Assignment
  • Departure Date (Staging)
  • Training Address (Then your Site address once you move to site!)
  • E-mail address you will be using during service
  • Any website you want your name linked to (if any).
Before e-mailing me, please be aware that shipping internationally can be pricey!  Luckily, you will only have to do so twice during service, so it should not cause too much of an inconvenience!

-Kimberley Rose